Sizwe Banzi lives in a new play

JOHN Kani’s, Athol Fugard’s and Winston Ntshona’s Sizwe Banzi Is Dead is one of SA’S classic and important plays dealing with the everyday plights of the black man during apartheid.

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In it Sizwe Banzi, who is jobless with an expired work permit, faces the prospect of going home to the disappointed faces of his family who expect him to be who he’s always been: the breadwinner. In a twist of events he takes on the identity of a murdered stranger who happens to have the work permit he so needs, thus considering his own identity, as Sizwe Banzi, dead.

The effects of this timeless piece have resulted in three youngsters creating a new play in response to the original. Sizwe Banzi Is Alive, directed by Eliot Moleba, with actors Simpho Mthenjwa and Msiza Mbali, who are Wits graduates, speaks to how the issues in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead have affected today’s generation.

“For every action there is a consequence. For every missing person there is a family living with the mystery of their disappearance,” goes the tag line for the new play.

Moleba believes this is a story forming one case of the many unsolved mysteries of SA’S wounded people and past. And this is a personal story. Msiza and Mthenjwa will present a number of characters who will take the audience through a heartfelt story of a young man in search of his grandfather, his name and his past.

“The new play marks the risks and bravery invested and celebrated about the original Sizwe Banzi as one of the timeless stories of our heritage. And it is in the relentless pursuit of one’s identity that this work draws an inspiration to tell a new story about my identity within the contemporary South African socio-political landscape. So this is an entirely new search of separate voice and self in a different time frame within the South African context. My re-imagination of the narrative weaves in the issues that reflect most of the truth and challenges of our current time,” says Moleba.

The story follows a grandson’s search for a distant past. Wiseman goes to New Brighton where his grandfather was last seen. What this unravels is dramatic tension and conflict that comes with meeting the right name, but the wrong face.

Talking about the creative process, Moleba says he and his cast realised that as the new generation, they were Wiseman and they were dealing with their personal narratives – which, more than feeding into the process, were the process.

“I believe it is through our stories that we remind ourselves and each other what it means to share our life experience and embrace our common humanity. Thus, as a contemporary young theatre-director in search of a ‘new voice’, I love and want to create a theatrical space that engages with social issues that are thoughtprovoking, reflective, relevant and pressing to my audience(s).

“As such, Sizwe Banzi Is Alive is an artistic offering that engages with a tone that begins to creatively shape a personal and collective voice. How am I, born into a new democratic South African society, supposed to make sense of where I come from when my personal and family history is a mystery to me?” Moleba asks.

For him and his cast the play is a confrontation of the generation gap. It’s a dialogue about the old and new generations’ relationship(s) with the past, and audiences are welcome to bring their stories too.

These youngsters’ objective is to open up a conversation among SA artists, friends, parents, grandparents and most importantly the youth. They plan to take the production to high schools and community halls and spread it far and wide.

is on at Space.com at the Joburg Theatre from June 6-10 before moving to Cape Town in July.

The article first appeared here.

1 jour 1 pièce / 1 day 1 play / 1 dia 1 obra

ASSITEJ France has the pleasure to invite you to take part in its instant playwriting game, “1 day, 1 play”, organised to celebrate the World Day of Theater for Children (WDT), on March 20th.

Last year, with the support of ASSITEJ networkWrite Local, Play Global, 45 playwrights from 14 countries took part of it.

As for the last editions, we chose the simplest rules, to ensure anyone interested in playwriting and TYA can participate.

All you have to do is to select a date, from March 1st to 15th, and to register here. On the D-day, you will be sent the subject, and surprise helpers for your story. You then will have 24 hours to write and send your short play (500 to 700 words), in your own personal style and language.

Plays will be translated into French, and released on 1 day 1 play’s website, as in 2014 and 2015, at the occasion of the WDT.

To see my contributions, click here.

Two Young Artists from Cwmbran and South Africa Breaking New Ground with Arad Goch

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There was a lot of excitement and energy in Canolfan Arad Goch throughout March and April, as two young artists, Chris Harris and Eliot Moleba worked on an exciting theatre project based on immigrants and race. Chris from Cwmbran and Eliot from South Africa were working through the 6X1 scheme with Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch until the beginning of April. In that time, the two young artists created a new piece of theatre, and did so by taking advantage of Arad Goch’s facilities and expertise.

Eliot and Chris first met during the International Theatre Festival, Agor Drysau / Opening Doors in 2014 and Eliot Moleba mentions that they’ve wanted to work together since then;

“Since 2014 we’ve been trying to work together. It’s surreal to think, here we are!” (Eliot Moleba)

Eliot Moleba is a 29 year old artist from South Africa who specialises in theatre work. At the moment, Eliot is a Resident Dramaturg with the South African State Theatre. One of his most recent touring productions was The Orphan Of Gaza which toured around South Africa in 201[5].

“It was exciting working on something meaningful which responds to a current global issue” (Eliot Moleba)

Eliot came to know about Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch after being accepted to do a placement with the company during the Agor Drysau Opening Doors festival in 2014. The opportunity was arranged through ASSITEJ (l’Association Internationale du Theatre Pour L’Enfance et La Jeunesse – The International Association Of Theatre For Children and Young People), where Arad Goch’s Creative Director Jeremy Turner was a member.

“We’ve kept in touch since then and are extremely pleased that Eliot is now working with a young Welsh writer and performer, Chris Harris who started his professional career with Arad Goch, after graduating from Aberystwyth University.” (Jeremy Turner)

Chris Harris’ first professional job in the theatre industry was as an actor in Arad Goch’s production Madog. By now, Chris works as an assistant at Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran. As well as this, Chris often works with Sherman Theatre, and has also been working on his own original theatre work. His one-person show Golf Course War Machine opened in Arad Goch and is touring theatres at the moment and there was a reading of his latest drama, which won the Richard Carne Award, Heterochromia on the 26th of April at the Sherman Theatre.

“I love exploring working in a way where language isn’t integral to the storytelling” (Chris Harris)

Chris and Eliot’s project touched on themes such as race, immigrants, childhood and racism and will came to its conclusion with a presentation and discussion of the production at Canolfan Arad Goch.

“Nice to come here in a creative capacity and thankful for the opportunity – it’s very rare to be given a chance like this where you can just explore and play and create something. We’re very grateful for the trust Arad Goch has given us.”

Phone 01970617998 or email carwyn@aradgoch.org for more information.

03/05/2017

This article first appeared here

PlayRiot making waves in big places!

Children’s Monologues

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Four of PlayRiot’s writers will have their work directed by Danny Boyle (director of films like Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting) at the upcoming Children’s Monologues play at the Royal Court Theatre. These monologues will be performed by actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sienna Miller, Josh Hartnett, James McAvoy and others.

Contributing writers include: James Graham, Tanika Gupta MBE, Sir David Hare, Amy Jephta, Neil LaBute, Napo Masheane, Eliot Moleba, Mongiwekhaya, Jack Thorne, Laura Wade, Richard Warlow, Roy Williams OBE.

Read more about the Children’s Monologues here.

children

PE GALLWN I HEDFAN / IF I COULD FLY

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~ Invites you to a test performance of ~

PE GALLWN I HEDFAN / IF I COULD FLY

by / gan

Chris Harris & Eliot Moleba

~ A new play for young audiences developed with Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch ~

Friday 31st March / Dydd Gwener 31 Fawrth (3.30pm)

@ Arad Goch, Bath St, Aberystwyth

Following the performance, you will have the opportunity to look at the materials of the rehearsal space and have a chance to discuss the work with the artists.

Anisa and Daf meet for the first time on a beach, two children from very different backgrounds but who both want the same thing – a friend. This is a play for young audiences responding to the refugee settlement in Aberystwyth. 

Please RSVP if you would like to attend the performance:-

couldflyperformance@gmail.com

About the Artists

Chris lives and works in South Wales. He is the recipient of the 2016 Richard Carne Playwriting prize following tuition with Brad Birch at the Sherman Theatre. He was successfully chosen for their playwriting programme TAITH in February 2016. His previous writing credits include ‘Lovely’ (Rehearsed reading, The Other Room, August 2015) and ‘Winona’ (Aberystwyth Arts Centre). He has worked extensively with Monmouthshire County Council on new work for the National Eisteddfod and with Torfaen Borough Council on theatre in education.

Eliot is a playwright and director. His theatre addresses relevant political issues affecting young people today. He is a member of PlatRiot, a collective of playwrights committed to telling bold, contemporary South African story. He holds an honours degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, where he also completed his M.A. He is currently the resident dramaturge at The South African State Theatre. He was recently one of the playwrights in residence with The Royal Court Theatre, London, ASSITEJ SA’s Inspiring A Generation programme, and an alumni of the Theatre Project with the DO School, Hamburg, Germany.

*****

For the Art: And the greater good

Megan van Wyk - Theatremaker

I love children.

And I love theatre.

And I strongly believe in the role theatre can play in the life of a young person coming to terms with the world. It can encourage play and imagination, fire up a sense of magic, build pathways for understanding human nature and countless other principles, as well as teaching important inter- and intrapersonal skills.
Most of the theatre projects aimed at young audiences I’ve been involved in have been fun and boisterous and very much in line with what people generally think of when children’s theatre is mentioned.

That said, the project I’ve fallen head-first into is very serious children’s theatre.
The play, a new work by Eliot Moleba in association with ASSITEJ ZA, is called The Orphan of Gaza and will premiere at the National School of the Arts Downstairs Theatre on the 16th of June.

Megan van Wyk & Nidaa Husain featured in Eliot Moleba play Orphan of Gaza The Orphan of Gaza

I’m deeply…

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The Orphan of Gaza

Extra, extra, read all about!

We premier a new play, The Orphan of Gaza, with the generous support of ASSITEJ SA and CurioCity Backpackers.

Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.
Details of the premier at The National School of the Arts. This play is specifically targeting 7-10 year olds.

The Play:

After a rocket attack, a little girl is told that her parents have gone to a better place. Armed with a makeshift aircraft, helmet, GPS and a cockpit full of courage, she and her pet plot a journey to search for them.

Meet the creative team:

Cast                : Nidaa Husian and Megan Van Wyk

Writers            : Eliot Moleba

Dramaturge   : Charlotte Loriot

Director          : Eliot Moleba

Stage Manager: Nobantu Shabangu and Baeletsi Tsatsi

To book/RSVP your seat and your children, nephews, nieces, and cats, please contact me on:

Email: info(at)eliotmoleba(dot)com

Theatre For Change

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